Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The new steps and walkway.

Just in case I haven't had time to share about our trip today, I thought I would leave the ones I post-dated before I left.  

I am sharing a few photos of the work we are having done out front.  Below are the offending steps.  You'll see where the earth is way below the bottom step.  The chap who is also fixing the walkway took even more dirt away but not that much and the bottom step was dangerous, to us yes but we were especially worried about visitors who were not expecting such a deep drop.  Most of the time we would go through the garage but with visitors it got tricky, especially in the last few months since we've had a lot of rain, the earth seemed to compact even more.  We were forever warning people to take care and more often than not, stood at the bottom to lend a hand.  We also had individual paving stones set at intervals for the walkway which came with the house, and they would move and look crooked at times.

The next photo was taken from inside our front door.  The design we were shown had a circular area which we liked.  We could see the man who was maybe in his mid 30's and who showed us his plan on a diagram, had a very detailed mind.  It gave us a good idea of what it would look like when finished.  The gentleman I am talking about is the one who also did a lot of the hard work, with the help of a young assistant.  They dug out the earth and carried it away, put in the framework of cables underneath everything for added strength, and added the step, poured the cement and laid the stone.

We came home one day to see a cement truck in the driveway.  The cement was poured into the wheelbarrow in stages, which would be emptied at intervals along the walkway.

This is when the cement has had a chance to dry for a day or two.

In this one you can see that extra step being added and the decorative stonework on the side.  We're also getting a small wall/seat that to tell you the truth was a bit of a surprise but one we are delighted with as we can see ourselves sitting out front.

Standing on the other side.

The steps are beginning to take shape....

and so is the wall..... 

 and the walkway. 

We have never had anything major like this done before and even though you think you'll know what it will look like, it's always a little nerve-racking until you see the finished project.  I know it's not a room addition, or a new porch, or anything bigger, but yes it's a bit nerve-racking.  Things changed however.  We, or should I say I (because Gregg said not to worry, he's a good guy) grew to have faith in the young man who worked so diligently.  He measured everything meticulously, he tapped each brick into place with precision, he was skilled at his work, a craftsman.  As I looked at him fitting everything together, I saw the concentration in his expression when he didn't realize I was peeking through the window, yes I peaked.  Over the next few days I peaked a lot, and saw the pride he took in his project,  My nerves were not racking away quite so merrily anymore.

(Memory jingle: any wonder why I was chosen as our neighborhood watch captain in California?  My next door neighbor used to be gone a lot and once told me, when I had noticed two strange men in her backyard and after I had mentioned it to her on her return home, to make sure there was nothing untoward, and apologizing saying I didn't mean to be nosy (somebody had to keep an eye on them to make sure they didn't carry off all her belongings, my hand was hovering over the telephone), she replied, "Don't worry Hun, it's a good job we've got at least one nosy parker in the neighborhood".  As she looked at the embarrassed expression on my face, maybe my mouth dropping open gave her a clue, she tried to back-pedal but no use digging a hole even deeper.  I guess it got around as after that I was volunteered as the captain of our neighborhood watch, with a rousing hoo-rah as all the neighbors took two steps back and I was merrily, that word again, standing out front, volunteering when I didn't actually volunteer.  I didn't know whether to be pleased or insulted, but there you go, water under the bridge now.  Don't get me wrong, I loved all my neighbors, we had a lot of fun together during those years in Southern California.  Did I mention the wine parties?  We had a lot of those. And no, I am not the captain of our present neighborhood watch.)

Anyhow, I digress as usual and getting back to our steps, Gregg of course knew it was going to be okay all along, because he told me so several times, in between the peaking. Yep, it's all slowly coming together.

They still have to come back and do the grouting and they said they would power wash it before they they left, and tidy everything up.

When Gregg and I were out taking photos of the progress, a man driving down our street - a neighbor - stopped in front and yelled, "Looking good!"  I smiled and said thank you and turned to Gregg and said, "Who was that?"  He said, "Don't know but we shall build it and they will come", funny man!

It's all completed and we are very happy with how everything turned out.  I thought we could plant a few flowers in front of the wall facing the street.

In addition to the work we were having done, a small army of men turned up a few days ago - about 20 of them - to lay fiberoptic cables across everyone's front lawn.  All up and down the street and working around the whole neighborhood, several holes/trenches have been dug in everyone's lawn.  They filled the holes but were back again today digging bigger holes which have again been refilled and reseeded.  I expect we will be getting offers for a change of internet service soon.   It feels very strange listening to the silence, no jackhammers or pneumatic drills, just the birds.

No more danger of twisted ankles or people coming to the door and having to police their way down that bottom step.  No more, "Be careful of that bottom step, it's a doozy!"


  1. Your walkway is beautiful! I love those pavers and the stone work. Gorgeous!

  2. Oh my gosh! Denise, this is stunning! I LOVE it! Sigh... It really adds such beauty to your house. OK... Have to go... I want to call Art to look at your masterpiece.

  3. OK... I'm back. Art is suitably impressed and said, "Definitely terrific!" We scrolled up and down to look at it again. I confess. I'm envious! It's beautiful!

  4. Wow, that is really fantastic, Denise. I just love the design and workmanship. What a difference from before.

  5. perfect job!

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral

  6. It all looks very smart, Denise, most attractive and what a relief not to have to worry about visitors going A over T:-)

  7. Great job, fantastic post:) Greetings

  8. That was quite a narrative, Denise. Haha! My Mom was the unofficial watcher in all the subdivisions where we lived. I think the title commands respect.

    I love the steps and now I can imagine you planting flower beds and posting it on TF which I am terribly missing.

    Most of all I miss you, Denise.
    Thank you for keeping faith with me.

  9. What a fantastic job that workman did and it all looks so beautiful. Yes, a few flowers would be good and soften the look a wee bit.
    Thank you for sharing pictures of the job's progress with us.

  10. Great to walk with you through this process..and the end result is stunning. Of course you were anxious, this was working on the focal point of the front of your home...and now it's even more welcoming!

  11. Looks so neat and well documented!

  12. You must be thrilled with the result. It looks fabulous and certainly gives the house more 'curb appeal'.
    Jane x

  13. that is really lovely! love the added bench, too!

  14. That is a gorgeous walkway with a very elegant set of steps! Your craftsman did a wonderful job.♥♫

  15. Hi Denise, I really love the new steps and walkway! So beautiful!

  16. An imaginative design and the different coloured stones are just right. Looking forward to seeing it all again when you've added a few plants by the wall.

  17. You can plant those flowers when you get back from the trip. Your unknown neighbor was right, It is definitely "looking good".

  18. That is really nice; I love it.